Don’t Save Anything: Uncollected Essays, Articles, and Profiles
The title of this book, Don’t Save Anything, should have served as an admonition for the editors of this compilation. Salter is a very good writer who had many interests, but many of the essays and stories seem dated and disconnected. There is a current trend to publish all extant writings by a departed writer. There are those who expectantly await those writings by J. D. Salinger, for example. For the most part, however, this reader has discovered that these volumes serve to entertain or enlighten only the fans or academics who wish to savor all written materials from their favorite writer. It may be true that if the writing still held up, a collection would have been forthcoming in the writer’s lifetime.
This doesn’t take anything away from the apparent skill of James Salter and the enjoyment that his fans will receive from having a new collection. For those of us, however, who are not in this fold, the misogynistic statements and other 1950s sentiments of the writer seem out of date and not relevant to the current interests of the world.